Appreciating what you have....
Appreciation, as defined by the Webster Online Dictionary, means to give a “feeling or expression of admiration, approval, or gratitude,” or to “increase in value.”
In relationships — romantic and platonic ones alike — it is important to take a moment and appreciate the other individual or individuals within the relationship. Why? Because as human-beings we naturally long for acceptance in some form, shape, or fashion. Just think about it, how many stories have you heard about an adult harboring animosity towards a loved one because the loved one never made the person feel accepted? Or the spouse that decides to leave the marriage, either through adultery or divorce, because the spouse felt that the other husband or wife did not show him/her appreciation during the marriage? Or the child that grows up with behavioral issues, such as extreme shyness or anger, presumably because he/she did not feel loved, appreciated, and/or accepted growing up? Acceptance is a powerful tool. And I am of the opinion that it can save many of relationships — romantic and platonic alike — if individuals practiced it more, and did so without having to be prompted to do so. It also should be sincere and should not only occur when something major happens. Without being cliché, it is just like the normal talking point during Christmas time that you should give throughout the year, not simply on Christmas. Likewise, you should show appreciation for the small things, for the large things, and for nothing at all.
Why should you? Because it doesn’t cost a thing to show appreciation; except for maybe your pride or pushing aside your naïveté about a person being “needy” or needing confirmation that he/she has done something nice for you. These types of justifications are simply dumb, wasteful, and only get in the way of promoting a positive and healthy relationships. Especially, when it comes to your significant other. In my experience, individuals tend to give (and show) more appreciation for their friends than they do for the individual with whom they are dating or married to. And granted, maybe there are aspects and complications in the intimate relationship that is not present with a friend, but the question really becomes, are you contributing to the complications by failing to recognize the simple expression of appreciation? If you can unequivocally say no, then perhaps you are part of the great minority, but if you are human (like most of us), then it is very likely that you are in fact contributing to the complications.
The art of relationshipping (yes, I wrote that), like anything else, requires practice. It requires you to actively think about someone other than yourself. It requires you to sometimes think about your actions (and reactions) and how they may affect the other individual. It requires you to sometimes put your beliefs aside for the greater good. It requires you to sometimes, even when you are good and mad, to say “thank you,” even when you just want to remain pissed off. Some of us subscribe to the school of thought that: if you did something for me, it is because you wanted to do it and not because you expect something in return. Kudos to those who truly believe this. Even more kudos to those expect this perspective to be equally shared with your partner and/or friend. Speaking for me personally, yes I do things for other individuals because I truthfully want to do them. But, on the other hand, what I am not going to do is to keep doing things for individuals whom I consider to be ungrateful. And one sure sign of being ungrateful is failing to show simple appreciation. This is not to say that you need to worship the individual that did something for you. Nor do you need to take some overt action, such as buying a thank you card (although such act is necessary at times). But you can smile a little more when you are with the person. You can compliment the individual. You can just hug the person and say, I appreciate you.
Ungrateful, as defined by the Webster Online Dictionary, means “showing no gratitude” or “making a poor return.” To me, this is a relationship killer. And often times, in my experience, it is not purposeful, but instead is subconsciously done because individuals refuse to adjust their arcane and stubborn positions. Any relationship requires adjustments. Any relationship requires you to be uncomfortable sometimes in order for the other person to be comfortable. Any relationship requires you to invest. And why would any person continue to invest into something that has a poor return rate? In this instance, an ungrateful person.
I challenge you to take the time to say thank you. I challenge you to take the time to make the other person feel appreciated. Because what you don’t appreciate someone else will, and if your relationship means anything to you, I would suggest abandoning some of your archaic perspectives and focus on creating a shared perspective of appreciation. I strongly believe that by doing so you can avert several issues from occurring in (or destroying) your relationship. TRY IT, and let me know how it works out for you! 🤗
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